This year, Halloween is on a Saturday, which maximises the opportunity to boost your sales over the whole weekend. The great thing is, you have the chance to have a little fun with it at the same time! Whatever you decide to do, make sure you shout about it. Use social media, or local media to promote any special events, products and promotions to ensure you make the most of the spooky season.
Create a Halloween version of something you already sell
Putting a spooky spin on a product you already sell is a fantastic way for your business to get into the spirit of Halloween, while allowing you to keep costs down. For example, if you’re a restaurant, or cafe, you could offer pumpkin spice chai or coffee, decorated cookies or themed cupcakes. Alternatively, if you run a beauty salon, you could advertise Halloween makeovers, and themed manicures. If you’re using social media to advertise your themed products, make sure you include some photographs of what you have on offer, as research suggests that users are more likely to engage with posts that have pictures!
Theme your window display
Changing your display to suit the season can really help you to make a killer impression on passers by and to entice customers into your business. You can also use your windows to promote any special offers or events that you will be running. Give your windows the ultimate Halloween make-over by using lights, cobwebs and pumpkins, which will give your store a fun and festive feel.
Host a Halloween event
Hosting a show-stopping Halloween event has the potential to be a memorable occasion for you and your customers, as well as a great and fun way to boost your sales. If you own a pub, bar or club, it is likely you will be busy over the weekend anyway, however, to make it more special, and to ensure you stand out from the competition, how about hosting a costume party, selling themed drinks and decorating your venue? Ideas for retail businesses include getting involved by dressing up in costumes, running competitions and offering Halloween themed treats and refreshments in-store. If you want to encourage a family-friendly event, you could hire a make-up artist, or a storyteller to entertain the children while their parents browse and buy. If you are a business that is able to stay open a little later, it is the perfect opportunity to become a trick or treat destination, and offer sweets for children and special samples for adults.
Encourage your staff to dress up for Halloween, but bear in mind that few things are as dispiriting as a resentful costumed waiter or sales assistant. Excite your staff by letting them dress up as whatever they wish, within reason (you don’t want to show your business in a bad light), and hold a costume competition between staff. There are some fantastic business specific things you can do, for example, if you own a hair salon, it’s time to sport your craziest hair-styles! It’s important that you ensure all staff costumes are appropriate and remember to keep your customers in mind at all times.
Partner with another business
Choosing to partner with another business during important events of the year can prove to be very beneficial for you and your chosen partner, and it is a fantastic way to find new customers. Great partner choices include sweets shops, party-supply or fancy dress shops. If you own a restaurant, you could give your customers a voucher to receive discount at a fancy dress shop, and they can do the same for you. Alternatively, if you’re a bar owner, you could team up with other bars to host and take part in a Halloween pub crawl, which will allow you to attract a pool of new customers.
Theme marketing, social media and special offers
Use online marketing, and social media to create a buzz around your business this Halloween. Sending themed emails to your customers won't cost you anything (MailChimp have some great templates), and can be used to advertise and invite your customers to your event. Make sure you outline any special offers, competitions and activities that you will run during the week or for one day only. Social media can be also be used to promote your event or special offer, and you can request email addresses from any customers that are not on your mailing list who want an invite. This will create an air of mystery and exclusivity about your event. Ensure you excite and inspire your customers by sharing great costume ideas, recipes or make-up looks, depending on what you think is relevant to your business. Emailing enticing time-specific special offers to your customers will create a sense of urgency and give your customers a reason to buy from your business over others. It’s also a good way to clear inventory and make space for the Christmas season, which is fast approaching.
Run a social media competition
You can create excitement with minimal effort by engaging your customers on social media. One way of doing this is to hold an online fancy dress competition. The best way to do this is to encourage your customers to post their best Halloween costumes to your social media site, tagging your business page, or including a hashtag, to involve your followers. A great prize would be a voucher to spend within your business, as people using gift cards spend on average 40% more than the value of the voucher on purchases in store or online. If you use Instagram for your business, this is a fantastic way to hold a competition, as you can ask entrants to post it on Instagram tagging your business name, and including your specified hashtag (Eg. #EposNowDoesHalloween).